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The information contained in this newsletter is aimed at disability service providers.


Issue 219, 24 March 2015

In this edition:

  1. BSWAT update
  2. Resources to help prevent and respond to allegations of abuse
  3. Women with Disabilities Australia establishes Youth Network
  4. Are you Australia’s outstanding Australian Disability Enterprise?
  5. Applications now open for the 2015 Social Enterprise Awards
  6. Have your say on NDIS quality and safeguards
  7. Corporate governance and the NDIS — are you ready?
  8. Inaugural Disability Ministers’ National Forum 2015
  9. Case based funding helpdesk
  10. New retirement Case Status Reasons on FOFMS

BSWAT update

Wage Supplementation

On 21 August 2014, Minister Fifield announced a $173 million commitment to help the supported employment sector to work towards new wage arrangements for supported employees in ADEs. 
$32 million has been committed to the development of a new, productivity only wage tool for use in supported employment environments.

$141 million has been contributed to the tapering supplementation of wage outcomes for people with disability in supported employment from 1 February 2015. These funds will be managed by ADEs to supplement workers’ wages as transition to the Supported Wage System (SWS) or a new productivity-based tool occurs.

A small pool of funds has also been allocated to assist organisations unable to continue to deliver employment services to exit the market and to assist their supported workers to find suitable alternatives.

Detailed information about the wage supplementation policy will be released in the near future including through disAbility e-news.

United Voice and Health Services Union application to vary the Supported Employment Services Award 2010

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) conciliation process is continuing alongside the review of the Supported Employment Services Award 2010. Work on developing the new tool has commenced in consultation with relevant stakeholders, including employers, unions and advocates and is being led by the FWC. Part of the work of the group is to investigate the impact of a modified assessment process as part of the SWS for the supported employment sector. A small scale study to support this investigation is being undertaken in March and April 2015 in a small number of ADEs.  

Australian Human Rights Commission Exemption

The Department of Social Services has lodged the third quarterly report in relation to the exemption. A copy of the report and further information on the exemption is available at

Resources to help prevent and respond to allegations of abuse

A number of resources are available online to help organisations prevent and respond to allegations of abuse of people with disability.


With the recent focus on the serious issue of abuse, it is critical for ADEs to undertake a prompt review of policies, procedures and practice in relation to the protection of human rights of people with disability.   


Resources — including fact sheets, presentations, guides and articles — can be found on the DSS and DiiP websites.

Women with Disabilities Youth Network logo

Women with Disabilities Australia Youth Network logo

Women with Disabilities Australia establishes Youth Network

Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) invites you to follow the WWDA Youth Network as they gradually expand and pursue the aim of empowerment for young women and girls with disabilities across Australia.

WWDA’s new and exciting Network for young women and girls with disabilities aged 13–30 years has commenced with the launch of the WWDA Youth Network Facebook page. The WWDA Youth Network engages young women and girls with disabilities living in Australia to become empowered women.

The Network provides:

  • easy to understand human rights information
  • up to date events occurring in Australia and around the world relating to both women's rights and disability rights
  • stories of inspiring women with disabilities living in Australia.

Some exciting additions such as a closed Facebook discussion group exclusively for young women 13–30 years, an Instagram feed, YouTube channel, and easy to read Youth section to the WWDA website are also planned.

2014 ADE Excellence Award presented to Mambourin Enterprises by Senator Fifield

2014 ADE Excellence Award presented to Mambourin Enterprises by Minister Fifield

Are you Australia's outstanding Australian Disability Enterprise?

This year’s search for the nation’s outstanding Australian Disability Enterprise opened on 5 March with award nominations open until 10 April 2015. The Australian Disability Enterprise Excellence Award recognises employers which offer meaningful work and support to people with significant disability, and showcases innovative business practices across the sector.

Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield said nominating an Australian Disability Enterprise was a great way to highlight their terrific work.

“The award promotes their important role and acknowledges and highlights new ideas and ingenuity in the sector,” Minister Fifield said.

“Australian Disability Enterprises provide high quality employment and training opportunities for over 20 000 Australians with disability. They deliver a range of services such as graphic design, printing and metal fabrication through to catering, packaging, recycling and landscaping work.”

The Pratt Foundation is sponsoring the Award again in 2015 with the winner to be announced on 19 May at the National Disability Services’ Employment Forum in Melbourne.

In 2014, packaging and gardening business Mambourin Enterprises won the Australian Disability Enterprise Excellence Award for empowering their employees through training, support and implementing a leadership programme. Mambourin introduced a leadership programme to increase the capacity of their workforce and allow graduates to experience team leader roles. The company employs around 60 people with disability.

For more information on the Award and how to nominate, visit

2015 Social Enterprise Awards banner

2015 Social Enterprise Awards banner

Applications now open for the 2015 Social Enterprise Awards

With almost 20 000 social enterprises operating across every aspect of the Australian economy, social enterprises are changing the face of our communities. To recognise and celebrate the great work they are doing, Social Traders is proud to present the 2015 Australian Social Enterprise Awards.

Now in their third year, the Awards showcase outstanding achievements by social enterprises as well as those organisations investing in or supporting social enterprise. Seven awards will be presented this year, including a new award to recognise an individual who has made a significant contribution to social enterprise.

As well as receiving industry acknowledgement at a special Awards ceremony to be held in Melbourne in June, the Awards also help to raise awareness and the public profile of social enterprises through increased publicity and media exposure.

Previous award winners have included: SEED Parks and Property Maintenance that provides work for Brisbane’s long term unemployed; STREAT enterprises whose cafe and hospitality businesses are tackling youth homelessness and disadvantage in Melbourne; Thank You who have taken our thirst for bottled water and transformed it into funds for life-changing health projects in developing countries; and Connecting Up who have saved the not for profit sector over $50 million through their discounted software sales.

The 2015 Award categories are: Social Enterprise of the Year (Small), Social Enterprise of the Year (Large), One to Watch, Social Investment, Social Innovation, Buy Social, and the Social Enterprise Champion Award (Individual).

Finalists will be selected by an independent judging panel and announced in June.

So if you’re part of a great social enterprise, or helping to support one, don’t miss the opportunity to tell your story and be recognised for your contribution.

To apply for the Social Enterprise Awards or for more information, visit

Closing date for entries is 5pm, Friday 27 March 2015.

Have your say on NDIS quality and safeguards

Are you interested in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?

Australian, state and territory governments, are working together to develop a new national quality and safeguarding framework for the NDIS. It’s about making sure people with disability are provided with quality support, choice and control to pursue their goals and aspirations.

What do you think are the best ways to ensure that people have access to high quality supports?

Take a look at the consultation paper to see what issues are being considered. Think about how the different quality and safeguarding options affect you or those you care for. Perhaps you have some new ideas for maintaining quality and safety.
Have your say on any of the key topic areas:

  • building capacity
  • monitoring and oversight
  • National Disability Insurance Agency provider registration
  • systems for handling complaints
  • ensuring staff are safe to work with participants
  • safeguards for participants who manage their own plans
  • reducing and eliminating restrictive practices in NDIS funded supports.

You can get involved by making a submission, joining the discussion in the online forum, completing a questionnaire or attending a public meeting.

Submissions and other contributions will be accepted until 30 April 2015.

Visit to download the consultation paper and fact sheets, and have your say today.

Corporate governance and the
NDIS — are you ready?

A free online learning resource designed to assist service providers and Boards of Management prepare for the NDIS has recently been launched.
Funded by the Australian Government, and developed by the Australian Catholic University, this online training resource is the latest in a range of Department of Social Services initiatives focusing on corporate governance. 
Strong corporate governance is required for the long term well-being of any organisation. It is particularly critical for organisations meeting the challenges of NDIS transition.
The learning resource is made up of three online modules:

  • Strategy
  • Finance
  • Becoming a service provider of choice.

To undertake the free training, register at

Inaugural Disability Ministers' National Forum delegates

Inaugural Disability Ministers' National Forum delegates

Inaugural Disability Ministers' National Forum 2015

The inaugural Disability Ministers’ National Forum was held in Melbourne on 16 February 2015. The forum was chaired by the Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, who was accompanied by state and territory disability ministers.
State and territory disability advisory bodies and key national disability organisations were represented at the forum.
The aim of the forum was to provide representatives of people with disability with an opportunity to engage directly with disability ministers from across Australia, and the Australian Local Government Association, about the ongoing implementation of the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020.
The strategy sets out a ten year national policy framework for improving life for Australians with disability, their families and carers. It represents a commitment by all levels of government, industry and the community to a unified, national approach to policy and program development for people with disability.
Forum attendees discussed practical actions to progress the strategy’s vision and the six outcomes being sought in the key areas of policy action, including:

  • inclusive and accessible communities
  • rights protection, justice and legislation
  • economic security
  • personal and community support
  • learning and skills
  • health and wellbeing.

The forum provided an opportunity for participants to discuss what has been achieved in implementing the strategy to date.  
For further information about the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020, please visit the DSS website

Case based funding helpdesk

The case based funding (CBF) helpdesk can assist you with the day-to-day management of supported employee records on FOFMS such as starting a case and completing an assessment.  You can contact us at the CBF Helpdesk on 1800 034 887 or email

For FOFMS technical queries and assistance with passwords and log-ins you will need to contact the FOFMS Helpdesk on 1800 020 283 or email

If you have any questions relating to your payments, sites, outlet capacity or other issues that relate to your grant agreement, you should contact your Grant Agreement Manager. 

The case based funding helpdesk is available for calls during the following times:
Monday – Thursday 9.00 am to 12.00 pm AEST
Friday closed

The helpdesk is located in Brisbane and operates on Australian Eastern Standard Time.

If you receive a voice message during these times, we are taking another call, but will respond to you as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can email us at

New retirement Case Status Reasons on FOFMS

There are two new Case Status Reasons available for selection when Exiting or Returning a Case Based Funding case on FOFMS.

‘Retired from Employment’ change reason is used when a client is leaving an Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE) because they are retired from work. If a client changes their mind and returns to an ADE after retirement, ‘Returned from Retirement’ change reason should be used.

Entering the most appropriate Exit and Return reasons for supported employees is necessary in capturing a more complete picture of the reasons people with disability exit or return to service provision. 

Capturing retirement exits and returns will be useful in building a greater evidence base to support the development of future policy on transitioning to retirement for older people working in ADEs.

Please contact the CBF Helpdesk on if you have any questions on Case Status Change reasons.

Copyright © 2015 DSS Disability.
 ISSN 1448-8256

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